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Borderland veterans welcome new mental health and wellness center

Veterans and others gather for the opening of a new VA facility in El Paso.
Veterans and others gather for the opening of a new VA facility in El Paso.

EL PASO, Texas -- The El Paso Veterans Affairs Health Care System is taking a bold new step to help suffering service members in the Borderland.

The South Central Veterans Affairs Wellness Center opened on Tuesday.

More than a dozen visiting veterans were impressed with the new facility, which focuses heavily on matters of post traumatic stress disorder and PTSD-related mental illnesses.

Richard Britton, who served two tours in Vietnam, was especially happy with what he saw.

Britton said he has been deeply frustrated with seeing fellow veterans lost to depression and suicide in their post war years.

“It is too much," said Britton. "We have to find ways to limiting this and the center will go far in doing just that.”

The new facility will free-up space at the already crowded VA facility next to William Beaumont Army Medical Center.

The South Central Veterans Affairs Wellness Center is the first stand-alone clinic in El Paso to focus on mental health for former warriors in the Borderland and across the border.

“If you are a veteran who lives in Juarez, you can come over and get services here," said Texas state Rep. César Blanco. "It certainly is exciting that this facility is located on the border.”

Officials at the facility say PTSD treatment has continued to progress over recent years and begins by removing any and all stigma from those dealing with mental health related illnesses.

The 33,000-square-feet center includes group therapy areas, private consultation rooms and an entire section dedicated to over the phone telehealth therapy treatment.

Article Topic Follows: Military

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Michael Gordon

Michael Gordon is a former ABC-7 reporter who co-anchored Good Morning El Paso weekends.


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